An adoption register, or registry, is a database of consenting adoptees and birth relatives who are actively and passively searching for one another in an effort to establish some kind of contact or reunion.
Every state will have some form of unified adoption register. After registering, adoptees may also petition the courts to have a confidential intermediary assigned to his or her case. The C.I. will be granted access to the adoption record with the intent to search out and mediate conversations between the adoption parties. Many agencies are also more likely to help a searching adoptee or birth relative with post-adoption services after he or she has registered with the state registry. Some states may require this anyway.
There are also online adoption registers that may or may not require fees to register and use. Online adoption registers are databases of registrants who are also searching for birth children, siblings and parents. These require users to manually look through the profiles on the site. This is tiring and often unhelpful in the search process but is certainly a route that many people take in their search for their birth relatives.
Adoptees and adoptive parents who do not wish to be contacted at any point post-adoption can request that their information be guarded regardless of petitions to open an adoption record.